Astros’ Ronel Blanco suspended for foreign substance in glove

Astros’ Ronel Blanco is ejected after just three innings following discovery of foreign substance in his glove during a routine check on the mound. (0:51)

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Houston Astros pitcher Ronel Blanco, who was ejected from Tuesday’s game after umpires found a foreign substance on his glove, has been suspended 10 games by MLB, it was announced Wednesday.

Blanco also was fined an undisclosed amount. Astros general manager Dana Brown said that the right-hander will not appeal, meaning it becomes effective Wednesday night as the Astros continue their series vs. Oakland.

Brown said Blanco and his agent initially thought about appealing the suspension, but they determined that they want to “move forward” and “get back out there.”

“Ronel Blanco is a good human being, a good dude and he’s worked his butt off to get into the starting rotation,” Brown said. “I think he sees it as, ‘Look, I don’t want to be out. I don’t want to extend this any longer. I want to get back to the business of pitching.'”

Third-base umpire Laz Diaz ejected Blanco after a check of his glove before he threw a pitch in the fourth inning. His glove was confiscated and was sent to the commissioner’s office.

“I felt something inside the glove,” first-base umpire Erich Bacchus said. “It was the stickiest stuff I’ve felt on a glove since we’ve been doing this for a few years now.”

Blanco denied using an illegal substance.

“Just probably rosin I put on my left arm,” he said in Spanish through an interpreter. “Maybe because of the sweat it got into the glove and that’s maybe what they found.”

Manager Joe Espada added that when he went to the mound he saw “white powder” inside Blanco’s glove.

“It looked to me when I grabbed the glove [that] there was some rosin,” Espada said. “You’re not allowed to use rosin on your non-pitching hand, and that’s what it looked like to me. It was a little bit sticky with the moisture and the sweat, but that’s what it looked like to me.”

Brown on Wednesday said MLB didn’t “get into” what the substance was.

“This was an umpire’s judgment,” Brown said.

Blanco held out his hands and patted them together in front of the umpires while they inspected his glove before he was ejected, and he did the motion again after he was tossed.

“What I told them is, ‘If you found something sticky in my glove you should also check my hands because it should also be on my hand,'” Blanco said. “‘Just check my hand,’ and he didn’t.”

Blanco, who threw a no-hitter in his season debut, allowed four hits and struck out one in three scoreless innings Tuesday. He has a 2.09 ERA this season. The Astros led 1-0 when he was replaced by Tayler Scott.

MLB began cracking down on foreign substances in June 2021.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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